Crime

Los Banos homicide suspect arrested, autopsy reveals cause of death

Suspicious death under investigation in Merced County

Los Banos police are investigating a suspicious death reported Wednesday evening, Sept. 13, 2017, on Eighth Street between F and G streets.
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Los Banos police are investigating a suspicious death reported Wednesday evening, Sept. 13, 2017, on Eighth Street between F and G streets.

A suspect in a homicide from earlier this week tried to jump out a second-story window of a South Los Banos apartment when he was cornered by investigators Thursday afternoon, officers with the Los Banos Police Department reported.

Police identified Michael Manuel Mirabel as a suspect in the Wednesday homicide of 21-year-old Los Banos resident Delbert Scoggins.

Mirabel, a 30-year-old man from Los Banos, was tracked to a home in the 2100 block of Gilbert Gonzalez Jr. Drive. Officers captured Mirabel before he made it out the window, according to police.

He booked into the Los Banos Police Department Jail on suspicion of murder. He was being held without bail Friday, the release states.

Scoggins was found dead in the backyard of a residence in the 600 block of Eighth Street shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday. When officers responded to a call of an unresponsive male, they found him on the ground with obvious signs of trauma, the release states.

An autopsy performed on Scoggins Thursday revealed he suffered more than 20 stab wounds to his neck, face, torso, throat and to the base of his skull, according to the release.

Police have not commented on a possible motive in the slaying.

As Los Banos police detectives investigated the Eighth Street residence with a search warrant, they found a duffel bag hidden behind shrubbery near where Scoggins was found. The bag contained bloody clothing, a bloody pocket knife and an ID card for Mirabel, according to police.

Body camera from patrol officers who interacted with Mirabel earlier Wednesday and earlier in the week showed Mirabel wearing the same clothing and carrying the same knife recovered at the scene, officers said.

Detectives then served a search warrant at the home of Mirabel's family in the 600 block of F Street. They found Mirabel's shoes, which were reportedly washed and soaked in water, the release states Witnesses told police when Mirabel arrived at the home and he asked if he could take a shower after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Mirabel is currently on probation for a felony domestic violence charge. Authorities don't yet have a motive for the murder, but they don't believe it to be gang-related, according to the release.

The homicide investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Justing Melden at 209-827-7070 ext. 114.

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